Will You Be “NFL Ready”?

By: “The Other Coach K,” David Kelly,
High School, College and Professional Football Coach

Hello everyone ….. I apologize for you hearing my hard breathing. I just completed one of my early morning torture workouts at SSP.

I hope your NFL Fantasy Draft Team fared as well as the team of athletes I’ve been training for the last six months in preparation for the 2014 NFL Draft. The question is: will YOU be ready to excel when your time comes? Are you committed to doing what it takes to accomplish your dream and become the very best that you can be?

When Will Hitzelberger asked if I would share some thoughts on inspiring greatness, I welcomed the opportunity because it’s a topic I am passionate about and have seen first-hand throughout my 30-year career as a football coach at the high school, college, and professional levels. Greatness doesn’t just happen without a tremendous amount of hard work and commitment. Even the most gifted athletes like Peyton Manning and Jadeveon Clowney had to work extremely hard and smart to be ready when their number was called.

IMG_9555 I had the honor of assisting Coach Jon Gruden in his evaluation of the most talented quarterbacks entering the 2014 NFL Draft as a part of “Jon Gruden’s QB Camp”, which was filmed at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports. Some of you may have seen the crazy guy on ESPN …. In the long, grey sweats in 90 degree weather always getting in the way. Yep, that was me! As I observed the God-given gifts and pure skills of these quarterbacks, I wanted to know more about their individual passion for greatness and their commitment to peak preparation for the benefit of their future careers. Although I didn’t have the opportunity to learn this about each of the nine quarterbacks, I want to share with you what I have learned about preparation for greatness over my 30 year career.

Training for greatness has evolved from when I first started coaching football. Years ago, the athletes with the pure talent were generally the best in their field, with or without conditioning. Static weight training later became a significant component of preparation for those who were determined to achieve greatness and live their dreams. Conditioning and preparation today is much more diverse and focused, particularly for those who aspire for greatness at any level of competition.

Young athletes are bigger, faster, and stronger. Those who aspire to the highest levels are focused on strength and conditioning, increased flexibility, and improving their full range of motion. This multi-dimensional approach is important not only for competitive preparation, but it’s become just as important for injury prevention. The professional athletes are no longer focused on one dimension of conditioning, but on all areas, including strength training over an endured period of time, flexibility, and full range of motion. Those athletes who start a multi-dimensional approach at an earlier age will undoubtedly have greater opportunities to achieve their goals.
Will the 2014 NFL quarterback class be known for their greatness? I can’t answer that question yet, but what I can tell you is they will never achieve or sustain greatness without a multi-dimensional training approach. Will you be “NFL Ready” when your number is called? Even if your personal goal is only to become as physically fit as your body will allow, you must be “Ready” when your number is called.

BTW, I believe I hear my number being called now — it’s time to get mentally prepared for my fun Friday morning workout with the “Master of Pain” (Jonathan).

Talk to you next month …… “The Other Coach K”

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